Supreme Court Blocks Biden’s Vaccine Mandate

      It has been two years since the COVID-19 disease was declared a pandemic. Since then, the United States has implemented numerous precautionary measures such as the mandate of masks in schools and the workplaces, as well as the development of COVID-19 vaccines. These precautions have become a controversial topic in the United States, specifically the concept of making these items mandatory. A vaccine mandate for some businesses has been at the forefront of this heated discussion. This mandate enforced would allow individuals to be granted or refused service or participation in everyday activities. Some states have implemented a vaccine mandate while others believe it is an impediment on one’s rights. 

     California was the first state in the U.S. to require its health care workers to be vaccinated or tested once or twice per week. Alabama, Florida, and Georgia have been among the few states that do not require the COVID-19 vaccine. Of course, there are exceptions for those who are unable to take the vaccine due to medical or religious reasons; at the moment, 44 states allow for a religious exemption.                                                                          

     At the peak of the pandemic, around 786,000 new infections were being reported daily; thus, action was taken by the White House and President Biden to decrease the increasing rates. President Biden attempted to establish a nationwide vaccine mandate but was blocked by the Supreme Court. The courts believed that the mandate was inappropriate and invaded the privacy of individuals’ health.

      Although the Supreme Court ruled against the mandate, major companies, universities, and places of work have taken the personal decision of enforcing vaccinations into their own hands. Companies like Nike and Citigroup were considering firing any employees that did not receive the vaccine. President Biden was unable to get his mandate approved through the Supreme Court, but he was able to mandate that teachers at Head Start programs and staff at the Department of Defense be vaccinated in order to work. This debate to enforce mandates for some businesses or not is a complex issue that has to be evaluated carefully, making sure that no citizen’s rights are being violated.